By Gabriel Prynn, cellist
A long-awaited premiere!
Hailed as « one of the most exciting composers of his generation, anywhere » by the British press at a concert dedicated to his work given by the Philharmonia Orchestra of London in 2014, Chris Paul Harman composed for the Trio Fibonacci for the first time in 2005. The recording by the Trio Fibonacci of the first Harman trio on the Centrediscs label was universally admired upon its release in 2010. It is therefore with great impatience that fans of new music have awaited the appearance of this new work, to be premièred in this concert.
The history of this work dates back to the summer of 1998, when we first met Chris during a visit here in Montreal (he lived in his birthplace of Toronto at that time). It was at that point that he purchased his first copy of the harmonized chorales by J.S Bach. He wondered if it was possible to find a way to compose a work that makes use all 371 chorales.
Today, almost 20 years later, he has returned to this idea, but limiting his palette to sixty chorales. So his technique for making use of these Bach chorale melodies consists of building up different chords (or aggregates), each one containing all of the notes of a given melody. We could say that Chris has made a kind of collage of harmonies, using Bach’s melodies as raw material.
The work is spread out over a series of miniatures, isolated musical moments that are nonetheless linked by the constant presence of Bach, as if his spirit were hovering over the musicians…
Colours of Spain
During our recent European tour, Wonny, Julie-Anne and I had the opportunity to discover the music of a young and passionate composer from Madrid: Miguel Trillo-Figueroa.
We have therefore chosen to complete this flamboyant contemporary program by his trio Unrevealed Cube 4×4, a work composed in 2010 which sets to music the almost infinite possibilities of colours and combinations proposed by the Rubik’s cube (by the way, the famous cube-shaped puzzle offers no less than 43 billion billion possible configurations!).
Specifically, in the process of composing the work, Miguel employed a certain number of Rubik’s cube combinations in order to construct a matrix of pitches. As Miguel himself explains:
« I have not applied all the possibilities offered by this matrix however, leaving the listener with yet another puzzle to solve … »